Can We Have Too Much Sleep?

How Much Sleep is Too Much?

Koalas spend up to 20 hours a day doing it.

So how much sleep is too much sleep?

According to research there is no set amount of time that each of us need to sleep. The sleep required differs from person to person.

Some people can survive on 5-6 hours while others will suffer if they do not get 8. This is due mainly to genetics.

For many years now the standard has been around 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

However recent studies carried out at the University of California, on over 1 million people, found that those who slept 8 hours a night or more are 12% more likely to die younger.

Similarly those who had 4 or less hours a night suffered the same fate.

In this study 6-7 hours a night was seen to be the amount that led to the longest life. More study needs to be done here before they really can be sure if long duration sleep effects life longevity.

However people who are now averaging 6.5 hours of sleep a night can rest assured this is a safe amount of sleep.

From a health position, there is no need to sleep any longer.

Professor Jim Horne at Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre said people who advocate the benefits of lots of sleep are misguided.

Basically if you are alert and not sleepy in the daytime then you are getting enough sleep.

Different animals throughout the animal world require differing amounts of sleep.

A cat for example will sleep 21 hours a day while a giraffe will only sleep for 1.9 hours.

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